An area of significant interest and research
is the liquid biopsy. This approach proposes using the latest DNA sequencing
technologies to detect very small quantities of potentially cancerous DNA in the
blood stream of an asymptomatic patient8.
This could lead to more frequent cancer
screenings in patients. The key to the success of any screening program is enabling
patient access to these tests in a primary
Illumina hopes to spin-out the com-
pany: Grail9, whose mission is to create
a blood screen which enables early
cancer detection in asymptomatic indi-
viduals10. In parallel with this, Illumina
is developing a new DNA sequencing
platform that is based on semiconduc-
tor approaches and ‘digital droplet’
microfluidics. Known as ‘Firefly’, this
easy-to-use ‘sample-to-answer’ system
will be Illumina’s most highly integrat-
ed sequencer to date11. This approach
is clearly aligned with Grail’s mission
and aimed toward non-expert users in
clinical and healthcare settings.
Data as the central theme of PoC
At first glance, the smart device and liquid
biopsy approaches to PoC diagnostics
do not appear complimentary; however,
data links them together. The aggregation
of patient data from multiple sources has
the potential to provide value for multiple
stakeholders, enabling patients to monitor
their health via a smart device and allow-
ing healthcare providers to observe trends
at a population level.
This approach could enable highly
preventative approaches accounting for
each patient’s case. It would also provide
‘screening’ approaches for patients who
One Ring LED, to guide them into the light,
to shine for ages and find everything.
The Solidur® Ring LED from SCHOTT has fantastic powers. Multiple LED chips guide you through the
darkness and enable shadow-free illumination of even difficult-to-reach treatment areas. This small light,
only 8 mm in size, provides optimal visibility and allows physicians to work with extreme precision.
But above all, it is a faithful and resilient fellow. Its rugged housing is resistant to pressure, corrosion
and chemicals. And its autoclavability for more than 3500 cycles at a temperature of 273°F makes it
extremely durable – in other words, a precious treasure. What’s your next milestone?
SCHOTT Solidur® Ring LED
The Cue home health test kit uses a drop of bodily fluid to diagnose the flu or analyze levels
of inflammation and certain vitamins and hormones that indicate fertility I minutes. Image
courtesy of Cue.